This election, we are told, is an election of ‘change’. All parties want it. After thirteen years of New Labour, a change of Government seems likely. But will anything actually change? Yesterday, David Miliband in the Daily Telegraph said that the next parliament would see more New Labour MPs elected than in 1997. The Conservatives’ own candidates are increasingly being exposed as homophobic, with a significant number drawn from the newly unemployed class some refer to as ’bankers’ (hold your tongue to say that one). The Liberals, after eighty years of doing nothing except damaging the climate through the hot gas they expel at regular intervals, think that by putting up a front-man who SSY recently exposed as a horsefly in disguise as a human, they may actually trick the electorate into thinking they are the REAL party of ‘change’.
Gordon Brown goes for 'honesty is best' policy when he tells another voter what he thinks of her.
Let us consider seriously the past thirteen years of New Labour: it is easy to take the piss, but some sobering thoughts before you vote are worth considering.
New Labour’s policies produced the rise of the ‘Welfare Benefit Class’. Harder to say than simply ‘the Poor’, this group has grown under New Labour, and remain below the poverty line on a multitude of ‘benefits’ which are so low, those on them are kept in poverty but unable to find a job which pays better than the benefits they are on.
New Labour have ceased to be the party of the working class. Instead, they are content to see people remain in poverty on benefits, and allow Capitalists and free-marketeers to continue their excellent job of exploiting us all.
During the same time as the unemployed and low-waged were kept down with measly benefits, the Rich were given the power to outsource their jobs around the world, use zero hour contracts to import cheap labour and cheat those workers out of all rights and benefits, paying less than the minimum wage.
Council house sell-offs continued, bankers speculated on future loses, and all this time the Government borrowed against our future with further privatisation and PFI projects, part-sell offs of Air traffic Control, attempts to privatise Royal Mail and demands to tender all government contracts from in-house, government employees to private companies in the name of ‘value for money’. These private companies, having underestimated their costs to win the job, then employed the same employees but on lower wages, poorer conditions and fewer hours to do the same job.
The minimum wage was introduced, but at such a ridiculously low level it was impossible to make ends meet with just one 40-hour a week job. And those under 22 didn’t even qualify, because their labour, was somehow not as valuable. And all the time, the number of working class people forced to survive on benefit handouts increased. Despite the fact that overwhelmingly they want a decent job and want to work. But it was easier to deal with the unemployed, those in poverty and those on low wages with tax credits than actually address the core problem: the working conditions and rights of the workers of the country, and provide jobs.
No matter how hard people work, how many jobs they get, under this system poverty and inequality will continue. And with the increasing number on benefits all the parties are now telling us that the ‘Poor’, or commonly, ‘benefit scroungers’ (easier to say for Tories than tell us who they are), don’t work hard enough and must be forced to get off benefits. Incapacity allowance, jobseeker’s allowance and other benefits are only for the ‘genuine’. The Rich, they say, have earned their wealth. (Interestingly, Paris Hilton is never used as a shining example of the ‘meritocracy’ in which we are supposed to live.) This is the country which New Labour has created.
One of the impacts of Tory media policy if they win.
Understandably for these reasons, and many others, people may be thinking as they cast their vote “anyone but New Labour”. With record youth unemployment, a disgraceful approach to human rights, civil liberties and a racist immigration policy makes this obvious. But the Conservatives or the LibDems aren’t the solution. Just remember: in the 1980s David Cameron looked at the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher, and he saw mass unemployment, miners’ striking, racial tension, widespread privatisation, social unrest, anti-trade union laws, Section 28, the rich getting richer at the expense of the poorest in society, and thought ”This is my Party; I belong here.” Today, after a month of General Election campaigning, this is what David Cameron’s idea of ”change” boils down to, despite claims he’s just like us. The Conservative Party has not changed one bit. The Liberal Democrats’ idea of ”change” is no different: means-testing of universal benefits, widespread public service cuts, reneging on scraping tuition fees, and the continuation of a Trident-equivalent nuclear deterrent.
We are told than in this election, that ‘change’ is coming. With the danger of a hung parliament, if we vote LibDem, we get Labour. Or if we vote LibDem, we get Tory. Before you cast your vote, remember this: New Labour were Thatcherites but more so. David Cameron and Nick Clegg will be New Labour but more so. It’s best to file all of this scum under “Tory”.
Vote Socialist on 6 May.